The recent outage of the Blackberry network reinforces the need for all businesses to start analyzing the danger of relying on one provider to provide critical business services to companies. Research in Motion, the back-bone of the Blackberry connectivity tool, suffered a world-wide system shutdown on Monday, October 10, 2011 and three days later it is still struggling to bring back its services online.

On, Thursday, October 13, 2011, RIM’s co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis apologized to his customers for the service outages. The apology, all though well-intentioned, seems to gloss over the fact that a company that is entrusted to keep the lines of communications open has failed because of one device.

According to an article in the New Your Times, RIM’s chief technology officer, David Yach, stated that he believes the world-wide failure was caused by a single switch that brought the entire system down. Apparently, although backup systems were designed to avoid this potential problem, they apparently failed as well.

This latest system failure for RIM is a wake-up for businesses to start evaluating their dependence on third-parties to provide critical collaboration tools for their business operations. In the technology world, it is not a question of WHETHER a system will fail; rather it is a question of WHEN it will fail.

Businesses today have jumped on the bandwagon of social media tools for their customers by relying on free third-party tools such as Facebook. Although free of charge, the reliance of a single third-party tool under the control of someone else is a ticking-bomb waiting to go off without warning, potentially wreaking havoc over a company’s customer relationships to the point that they may not recover. Just as Research in Motion is currently demonstrating, a single-point of failure can have devastating effects across many facets of a company.

A single-point of failure is the reason why businesses need to consider who and what controls their greatest assets, their customers. Amitor® addresses the problem of both providing an integrated, easily accessible customer resource manager (CRM) and a full-suite of social media tools while keeping companies in control of their own business futures. As Research in Motion continues to prove, relying on a third-party to keep the lines of communications open between customers and companies is a disaster in the making, if companies do not take the steps necessary to protect themselves from single point of failure.

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Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...